• Published 29th Aug 2016
  • 10,212 Views, 119 Comments

Mother Moon, Father Shadow - MatCor1337

Twilight gets the wake-up call of a lifetime as she discovers that her life has been a lie when she finds out who her real parents are.

  • ...

The First Piece Of The Puzzle

The town hall was deathly silent as the ponies stared up in fright at the black-coated, armored alicorn that stood tall and proud above them. Her mane and tail were like purple mists filled with sparkling lights like stars in the night sky.

“What did you do to the princess?” a cyan pegasus, Rainbow Dash, demanded of the dark figure. She tried to fly up to the alicorn, but was stopped when an orange earth-pony with a blond mane, Applejack, grabbed the rainbow-maned mare’s tail in her mouth.

“Whoa nelly.” She mumbled through her teeth.

“Why, am I not royal enough for you? Don’t you know who I am?” the alicorn accused the ponies beneath her.

“Ooh, more guessing games!” an all pink earth-pony, Pinkie Pie, exclaimed excitedly. “Umm, Pokey Smokes? How about Queen Meanie? No, Black Snooty! Black Snooty!” the hyper mare would’ve said more if Applejack hadn’t stuffed an apple in her mouth.

“Does my crown no longer count now that I have been imprisoned for a thousand years?” the dark mare continued, growing irritated that she’d been forgotten. “Did you not recall the legend? Did you not see the signs?”

“I did.” A voice called out. The alicorn’s eyes widened. She recognised that voice, and through her whole imprisonment feared that she’d never hear it again. She turned her head to where the voice came from, and her heart skipped a beat. There, staring up at her was a mare with lavender fur; straight-cut, dark-blue mane and tail with a stripe of pink and purple side-by-side; violet eyes and a pink, six-pointed star surrounded by smaller white ones on her flanks. Was it really who she thought it was, or was fate playing a cruel trick?

“And I know who you are,” the mare continued, “you’re the Mare in the Moon; Nightmare Moon!” all the ponies gasped, shocked at the revelation.

‘At least I wasn’t completely forgotten.’ Nightmare Moon thought. She mentally shook herself out of her stupor and acted like nothing was wrong. “Well, well, well… somepony remembers me. Than you also know why I’m here.”

“Y-you’re here to… to…” the mare stammered.

Nightmare Moon forced a laugh. “Remember this day little ponies, for it is your last. From this moment forth; the night, will last, forever!” She laughs again, creating storm clouds above her head that shot small bolts of lightning.

“Seize her, only she knows where the princess is!” the mayor cried to the Royal Guards that were there. They spread their wings and flew towards Nightmare Moon, believing that they could take her down.

Nope! Not a chance.

“Stand back you foals!” the black alicorn growled as her eyes glowed brightly. She struck each of the guards with a bolt of lightning, making them collapse to the ground. Nightmare Moon laughed again and turned her whole body into the same mist as her mane and tail, flying out of the building through the front door and towards her old castle in the now, presumably, overgrown Everfree Forest.

During the journey to the place she once called home, the Queen of the Night’s mind was racing with confusion and worry. ‘She’s alive, but why did she look at me with such anger? And why is she a unicorn? What happened to my precious little star?’

Nightmare Moon paced back and forth in front of the podium that held the inert Elements of Harmony in the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, but she ignored them as she pondered how this could be possible. She’d set a few traps within the forest to at least buy her some time to formulate a plan concerning the lavender unicorn.

‘But why is she a unicorn in the first place?’ she asked herself for the umpteenth time. ‘Did something in the chamber go wrong? Did the guards find her? No, no… if they did I definitely wouldn’t have seen her again.’ She stopped her pacing and took a deep breath to calm herself. ‘Okay, if they didn’t find her then somehow Celestia must have. But why would she turn her into a unicorn? Does she want the ponies to believe that there’s only one Alicorn so that they’ll worship her as a goddess?’ she then growled. ‘Of COURSE she would! That’s so something Celestia would do! I thought that she might have changed in the last thousand years, but it seems I was mistaken.’

The sound of rotten wood doors being opened brought Nightmare Moon out of her thoughts. Her mind panicked; she still didn’t have a plan to confront the light-purple mare. She used a spell that her husband taught her and hid in the shadows, where the six ponies that came after her would be too focused on the podium and Elements to even look for her.

Still hiding, Nightmare Moon watched as the cyan pegasus from before and a butter-yellow pegasus mare brought down the stones that contained the inert Elements of Harmony. Her breathing grew slightly heavier and her heartbeat faster when the orange earth-pony ushered the other ponies out while they left the unicorn alone to awaken the Elements, as she requested.

Taking a deep, calming breath, the dark alicorn left the shadows in her mist form and swept up the stones and the smaller mare, causing her to yelp in surprise when they teleported away and into the most intact tower. Nightmare Moon used her magic to throw the Elements at the far end of the chamber and stood above the now cowering unicorn.

“Shh, calm yourself, Twilight. You have nothing to fear from me.” Nightmare cooed soothingly with a kind, motherly smile.

“H-how did you know my n-name?” Twilight timidly asks. The fear and confusion in her voice and on her face made the alicorn grimace. She wanted to comfort her, but thought that it wouldn’t work the way she’d want, until another idea came to her.

“Tell me Twilight, what do you know of me?” Nightmare Moon asked.

“Y-you tried to plunge Equestria into eternal night but you were defeated by the Elements of Harmony and then sealed in the moon. Well, until now, that is.” The unicorn explained.

“Do you know of a draconequus named Discord?”

“I think there’s a statue of him in the castle gardens in Canterlot, but other than that, no.”

“Have you ever heard of King Sombra, Princess Summer Rose and the Crystal Empire?” Nightmare’s voice pitched a little; she was getting desperate now.

“Um… no?” Twilight was starting to get uncomfortable with a great threat to Equestria asking her random questions.

The Queen of the Night froze, eye wide and mouth slightly agape. She couldn’t believe it; she just couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “You…” her eyes started to water, which made the unicorn before her even more confused and uncomfortable. “You… don’t remember anything, do you?” the tears started to freely roll down her cheeks. “The Empire… Discord… Sombra… Summer… me? You don’t remember any of it?” Could she have been mistaken? Did fate just play its cruellest trick on her?

Twilight felt a little guilty that she wasn’t who the black alicorn thought she was, but despite her feelings, when she saw an opening to get to the Elements, she took it. She closed her eyes and focused on finding a spell that would get her to the discarded stones. This act didn’t go unnoticed by Nightmare Moon.

“What are you-“ she was cut off by a blinding flash of light. When she finally blinked the spots out of her vision, Nightmare heard a sound from behind her. She turned her head and saw Twilight with her horn glowing and the Elements caught in her magic. “No!” she called out, but it was too late as another, brighter flash filled the room.

When the light faded, nothing had changed; the Elements were still stone and the sixth was nowhere. “What?” Twilight screamed. “I don’t understand, where’s the last Element?”

The unicorn fell back when Nightmare Moon teleported right in front of her, a deep scowl gracing her features. “I don’t know what has happen to you this past millennia, my little star.” She said. “But I will no longer stand idle whilst my own child’s mind is twisted by my sister’s lies!” she emphasised this by rising her forelegs and slamming them down on the ground, destroying the Elements. “Now, we are going to stay in the Canterlot castle until your father is free from his unjust ice-prison, by that time the Empire should’ve returned as well and we can finally go home and be a family again.” Her expression softened greatly as she lowered her head to meet Twilight gaze with a pleading look. “Please, Twilight, that’s all I want.”

Twilight was only getting more confused by the second, but she needed to keep Nightmare Moon talking and figure out what she’s talking about. “What about eternal night?” the unicorn asks.

Nightmare sighed and raised her head. “When I first proclaimed that I was very stressed out so it was more of a ‘heat of the moment’ kind of thing. After I had finally gotten the love, adoration and respect that I deserved from the Equestrians, I would bring back the sun as a reward, so to speak. And even then the nights would be a little longer.” After finishing her explanation, she looked down to see the lavender mare giving her a curious look. “What? Did you seriously think I had not foreseen that the ponies would slowly die without the sun to help their crops grow?”


“Don’t answer.” She rubbed her head with a hoof before looking down at Twilight again. “Come now, my little star, the sooner we get this over with the sooner we can go home.”

Twilight still didn't know what was going on, but seconds later she heard the voices of the others coming up the stairwell to the chamber, calling out in concern for the purple mare. She turned her head towards the stairs and her eyes widened upon realisation. And if one focused hard enough, they would have seen an actual spark in her eyes.

“You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony just like that?” Twilight accused Nightmare Moon, foregoing what she heard as tricks, earning a look of hurt from the alicorn. “Well you’re wrong. Because the spirits of the Elements of Harmony, are right here!” the other mares stood behind Twilight and the shards around the black mare began to faintly glow and float in the air.


One by one Twilight called out the names of the mares with her and what they did that represented each of the Elements, the fragments floating to them. Nightmare mostly ignored the rant, too shocked that her daughter still refused to believe her, regardless of the lack of accusations being yelled. When she finally zoned back in, Twilight was just finishing. “...The spirits of these five ponies got us through every challenge you threw at us.”

“You still don’t have the sixth Element, the spark didn’t work!” Nightmare countered, panic striking her face.

“But it did; a different kind of spark.” Twilight turned to face the others. “I felt it the very moment I realized how happy I was to hear you, to see you, how much I cared about you. The spark ignited inside me when I realized that you all,” she turns back to Nightmare Moon, “are my friends.”

A bright light shone overhead and when they looked up, they saw another stone ball. But this one had a six-pointed star carved into it unlike the others, which had the same gem-like engraving. It started to lower itself to float above Twilight’s head, making so much light that the dark alicorn had to use a wing to cover her eyes.

“You see Nightmare Moon,” Twilight spoke up again, “those Elements are ignited by the, uh… the spark, that resides in the hearts of us all. It creates the sixth Element; the Element of… Magic!” in another flash of light, the Element shards reformed themselves to resemble the cutie-marks of their new bearers. Whilst the others had their Elements contained on necklaces, Twilight had hers on a tiara. The six mares were bathed in majestic light and hovered in the air before a ray of energy in the form of a rainbow shot out from the group and headed for Nightmare in an arch.

‘No…’ she thought as the beam drew closer. ‘No… we were just brought back together. I don’t want to lose her again!’ the rainbow energy struck the ground before her hooves and began to coil around her body. “No! Twilight!” she cried, but it was no use. Her vision was blocked and she could feel the power of the Elements against her, it would only be a moment until… nothing?

Nightmare Moon slowly opened her eyes to see that the rainbow still surrounded her, but there was no movement or sound. “What is-“

“Remain calm, Miss Moon, we bring you no harm.” A male voice soothed.

“Who’s there? Show yourself!” she demanded. The rainbow wall that trapped her became transparent until it was completely gone. In front of her were a group of six beings with their features hidden by the white, hooded cloaks they wore. However, the edges of the sleeves, the part of the robes that skimmed the ground, the thick sashes around their midsection and where their faces should be were all pitch-black. What caught Nightmare’s attention though were the black marks on their chests: an apple, a butterfly, a balloon, a diamond, a lightning bolt and a star. She gasped. “Y-you’re the…”

“Yes, we are.” The voice said, sounding like it came from the one with the star. “And we wish to help you, Miss Moon.”

“Why?” she asks.

“Because we’re sick and tired of that white witch using us to fix her mistakes.” A somewhat young, brash, yet very strong voice growled. The figures turned to the one with the lightning bolt.

“Now, now Loyalty, that’s a little rude.” A feminine voice scolded; this one easy for Nightmare Moon to at least guess as Kindness.

“Apologies, Kindness, but I agree with Loyalty. He simply said what we’re all thinking.” A wize, aged voice of - who Nightmare assumed was - Honesty confessed.

Kindness sighed and rubbed her arm. “Yeah, I guess so.”

“Anyway,” Magic spoke up again, “what we are proposing is that instead of destroying you, like what these poor dears expect,” he gestured to the group of mares frozen in mid-air behind him and the other Elements, “we will separate you from Luna and you will hide in the castle while you regain your full strength. Hopefully Discord will still be sane enough to help you acquire a body of your own once he is free.”

“What do you mean by ‘separate me from Luna’?” Nightmare asks, putting the part about Discord in the back of her mind for now.

The figure with the diamond, Generosity no doubt, stepped up. “Well darling, Celestia just wants her sweet little sister back, yes? And you want to be reunited with your family. So we decided that this way we could bring back together two families.” She explained.

Nightmare blinked. “Oh, well, I guess that makes sense.” She said, and then a thought occurred to her. “Will she-“

“No.” Magic interrupted with his right hand raised. “Luna will not remember your life in the Empire. The reason is that when she let you in, her mind was cast into a deep sleep, allowing you full control. As such, your life is yours and she has nothing to do with it.”

“If anything, she’ll most likely remember imprisoning King Sombra in the Frozen North and sealing Discord in stone as she was in control at those times, and of course those few moments before you were banished.” Honesty said with a shrug of his shoulders. He looked to the others and noticed them staring at him “What?”

“Yes, well, except for those details Luna won’t recall a thing, and it’s the only option you have if you wish to ever be with your daughter again.” Magic concluded.

Nightmare Moon craned her neck to look past the Elements and gaze upon the mares suspended in the air, or more accurately, at the lavender unicorn and the smile on her face. She would give anything to keep her little filly happy and smiling brightly. A tear rolled down Nightmare’s cheek as she recalled many moments of joy and love.

‘I promise we’ll be together soon, my little star.’ She thought. Taking a deep breath, she turned to face Magic. “Okay, I’m ready.”

Magic nodded and walked back towards the ponies, followed by the other as the rainbow started to become visible again. “Oh, and one more thing!” a new voice called out, obviously Laughter. “Because you were originally born from darkness, this may still hurt a little!” he said with a mad cackle.


Anything else that she would have said was immediately cut off when she was overcome by the shearing pain of being torn in half. Just as suddenly as the pain came, it disappeared. Nightmare groaned and opened her eyes, taking notice that her mist-like form was hidden in the shadows and of the small, light-blue alicorn lying where she was just standing. Knowing that Celestia would be here soon and afraid the she might uncover her, Nightmare slipped through the cracks to the lower chambers.

The ponies are absolutely clueless that she’s still alive.

Author's Note:

*Spoiler Alert* I have planned to make a situation where the Avatars will remove their robes and reveal their "true" forms. I already have some picked and will reveal them in a later chapter, but if you have any suggestions please write it in the comments and pair the character with the Element they mostly symbolise.
E.g. (Character)=(Element). Give reasons if you think it's necessary.

It doesn't have to be their only trait, but it has to be a major one that defines them.